The Air Up There

a model globe with rings around it

Earth's atmosphere is layered, creating differences in air circulation, temperature, UV levels and human activity.

How it works

Lift each 'atmosphere layer' on the model Earth and look at the layers and the graphic panel to check what can be found in that layer.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

  • How high have you travelled into the atmosphere?
  • Which layer is closest to the Earth's surface?
  • Which layer is farthest from the Earth's surface?
  • Where does most human activity take place?


The Earth's atmosphere allows life to survive, because it circulates the air we breathe, protects Earth from ultraviolet radiation and helps to keep the Earth warm as it moves through subzero space temperatures.

Finding the science in your world

Natural features such as auroras, lightning, ozone and clouds can be found in different layers, together with human activities such as commercial aircraft, weather balloons and the (now retired) Space Shuttle.